Whitecliffe takeover illegal: Supreme Court

HARARE - The Supreme Court has ruled that the Whitecliffe Farm take-over by ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement from property developer Edward Pfugari was illegal and ordered the vacation of occupants within five days.

The farm owner, 76-year-old Pfugari was involved in the wrangle after his farm located on the outskirts of Harare along the Bulawayo Highway was taken over by the government.

Justice Ziyambi, who handled the case together with Justice Paddington Garwe and Yunus Omerjee, said a preliminary notice of intention to acquire the farm handed down in September 2004, was also null and void.

He ordered Local Government and those claiming occupation through them to vacate within five days.

“It is declared that the respondents (ministry of Lands) did not comply with the Land Acquisition Act in acquiring the land,” Justice Ziyambi said in the ruling.

“Accordingly the acquisition order issued on June 15, 2006, it is null and void.”

The ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, cited as respondents in the case, were yesterday not represented.

The property developer took his case to the Supreme Court contesting an Administrative Court ruling, declaring the farm takeover as lawful. - Tendai Kamhungira

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